Friday, October 13, 2017


We here at the Daily Dirt Diaspora would like to extend our most felicitous of congratulatory accolades to British/Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro upon his being declared 2017's Nobel Laureate for Literature. In the Academy's dedication, they single out his "novels of great emotional force" which have "uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world." Ishiguro's most famous novels, Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, display his tremendous range in subject matter (from an elderly butler exploring his life's regrets, to a private school where clones bred and raised for their organs fall in and out of love), and both have been made into pretty good films. Ishiguro's keen eye for discerning the epic in the smallest detail is also apparent in the short story "A Village After Dark", which you can now listen to, as read by Ben Marcus, thanks to The New YorkerEnjoy!


Ah... Fangoria Magazine! I can still remember my first, issue #6, plucked from the magazine rack of a Quebecois gas station during a family trip to Baie-Comeau. The Star Wars droids were the first thing to catch my eye, and the lurid orange background drew me closer... but it was the horrible, tempura-drenched arrow-through-the-eyeball gag from Friday the 13th that won me over, much to my parents' long-lasting disappointment. Yes, for the first couple years that I was collecting them, I had to keep my copies hidden in the space between the unfinished cellar ceiling and the living room floor, alongside my small collection of porno mags. And now, it seems like, after a slow and protracted decline, Fangoria may be no more. So what better time for Entertainment Weekly to run an article about it? And of course, it's part of their "Untold Stories" series. It begins:
James Gunn is now one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers thanks to his overseeing of the two Guardians of the Galaxy films. But Gunn’s first movie, the horror-comedy Slither, nearly killed his directing career before it had really begun. Released in March 2006, this tale of a small town cop (Nathan Fillion) facing off against a local car dealer (Michael Rooker) who has been infected by an alien parasite placed a lowly eighth at the box office over its opening weekend. There was a silver lining for Gunn, however, and it was provided by the monthly horror magazine Fangoria. The publication not only put Rooker’s grotesquely made-up visage on the cover but later awarded Slither its “Highest Body Count” trophy at Fangoria‘s annual Chainsaw Awards, a televised event at Los Angeles’s Orpheum Theater which Gunn himself attended. “I don’t really collect articles or covers,” says the director. “But I do have my Fangoria cover up in my office. Fangoria was a huge magazine to me growing up. 
There is every chance you have never picked up a copy of Fangoria. You may have never heard of the title before now. But it is hard to overestimate the New York-based magazine’s importance to the horror genre.
So yeah... it's kind of condescending, and it comes way too late to make any sort of difference in terms of Fangoria's viability as an ongoing concern. But hey, at least it's something. Without this kind of recognition from the mainstream, people like me were liable to end up thinking we'd dreamed up an entire alternate reality where once existed a magazine that catered to both our love of cinematic horror AND our psychopathic desire to see people hunted down, brutalized, and torn apart like loaves of blood-soaked bread!

Let's keep it monstrous with our final Suggested Reading of the day. Here's SyFy's list of the Top Ten Freaky Tentacled Movie Monsters that H.P. Lovecraft Would Have Loved! I agree with pretty much all of these (each of which comes with a representative video clip), and am particularly interested in one that was new to me, a Canadian flick from 2008 called Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. The monster featured in the video clip below is apparently the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley, who teaches gym class in Edmonton now, unless I'm misunderstanding things. Either way, I'll be checking it out. Did your favorite tentacled baddie make the cut? Enjoy the rest of the list!

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